Thief crashes minivan into two Vancouver marijuana dispensaries

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Two marijuana dispensaries were damaged on Saturday in a “smash and grab” after a minivan drove into the front entrances of both stores.

Stressed and Depressed Association on East. 41st Ave. and Canna Clinic on East Hastings were broken into early morning, allegedly by the same man.

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SEE ALSO: There are more marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver than Tim Hortons locations

Police say the man started off stealing a minivan and crashing into the first store, stealing a total of $6,000 worth of glass pipes, marijuana and cannabis extracts. Though the thieves did not access the back of the store where most of the products were stored.

The man then broke into the second store before police could get to him. Police say the man was hunted down and bitten by a police dog. The stolen products were returned to the two owners and the man was taken into custody.

No one was injured at the two scenes, though the significant damage was made to both businesses.

“We haven’t missed an hour of business,” said David Malmo-Levine, co-founder of Stressed and Depressed Association. He said that even with the store’s front wall missing, they continue to run the business, waiting for repairs to happen.

Pot dispensaries are on the rise in Vancouver, and they’ve recently been targets of break-ins. Earlier this year, another dispensary fell victim to a robbery by two men, one armed with a gun, another with bear spray. Marijuana was stolen from the property.

“I talked to the police and they told me that about 10 years ago, this was happening to the liquor stores and the pharmacies and then they all put crash polls around their businesses and it stopped,” said Malmo-Levine. “And that’s obviously what has to happen for the cannabis community as well.”

Stressed and Depressed will also be holding a fundraiser on June 18 to pay for the damages at the store. Artwork by local artists will be auctioned off.

 

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.
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